As an interviewer, you must confirm that a candidate has the knowledge it takes to work on your current projects, as well as fit into your company’s culture. Hiring is expensive. Hiring the wrong developer is more expensive. We’ve helped lots of companies staff their development teams over the years, so we’ve seen first hand how important finding the right person for the job is. In our opinion, one of the most important things you can do is ask better interview questions.
Let’s go over the 5 most telling interview questions we think you can ask a developer…
What technologies are you interested in learning?
To begin, you want to weed out anyone in tech, who isn’t excited about new tech. There are a lot more of them than you would think.
This question allows the candidate to describe their approach to unstructured, continual learning and how they plan to evolve their skills as technology evolves around them. Experienced software developers consider the ways in which new knowledge affects their work and how it creates additional value for the company. Software developers who are motivated to learn new skills and technologies are more productive during inevitable technological transitions.
How did users benefit from your last project?
The better developers understand user stories, the more likely they will solve inconsistencies between design and implementation, especially when the requirements are fluid or not fully defined, preventing costly design errors from cascading in both cases.
Ask them to describe two totally different projects they’ve worked on.
Our minds are amazingly flexible problem-solving machines. Yet, usually, we rely on a limited set of strategies to solve challenges. We sometimes choose a less efficient solution than necessary just because it was the first to come to mind. Most software developers have used the same approach to solve similar problems, as it was the best solution in both cases. However, they should also be able to describe how they evaluated two different problems and chose the most appropriate solution for each.
Have you used any outdated technologies?
Given the constant evolution of software development, most software developers have worked with at least one legacy technology. In fact, legacy systems are still common and often considered to be too costly to replace. To demonstrate their ability to transfer knowledge and skills to new technologies, as a candidate to describe one technique they learned while using a legacy technology and how they used it on a different project.
Describe a situation where you disagreed with a project manager, and how the disagreement was resolved.
Given the complexity of software projects, disagreements over how best practices should be applied are inevitable. These situations are learning experiences and this question is a great opportunity for developers to highlight how past experience has made them better team members.
At SOLTECH, we’ve helped companies big and small build their dream teams, and we’d love to help you, too. Reach out to us!